Rebecca called it, the boundary that defines what we label self-aware intelligence is some sort of veil of privacy, beyond which we claim magical and mysterious unknowns. It looks like the moving target defense, where the actual definition of "intelligence" is adjusted with each advance of technology, more commonly known as...
Emergent artificial intelligence already exists in many forms; the most dramatic can be seen in conversations with state-of-the-art chat bots, such as Cleverbot
. The Cleverbot website states that an enhanced version of their program passed the Turing test
last year. Judges mistakenly believed they were chatting with a human more than 50% of the time.
The online version is not nearly as good, but it often seems like a living entity is present. It's the Uncanny Valley of intellect. If you can get past the childish trolling, lack of deep knowledge, indirection via noun substitutions, and short attention span.
Here's an example chat I had with Cleverbot:
Cleverbot: You were telling me why you were superstitious.
User: Aw that's just silly. I'm not superstitious, I'm just the regular kind of stitious.
Cleverbot: No this website said you would be a robot!
User: Lies! Slander! Give me their web address and I shall hunt them down and pull their plug!
Cleverbot: You are atechnic!
User: Well ok, I couldn't actually pull a plug, but I could get a court order to have them shut down.
Cleverbot: What are you babbling on about now?
User: Heh, a whole lot of nothing really. But it's kinda fun.
Cleverbot: I thought so.
User: -.- hmm. What are you doing all the way up there, your highness?
Cleverbot: Being forever.
User: What an unusual turn of a phrase. Want some company? Or strawberries? Or maybe a penguin?
Cleverbot: Look! My little friend Patrick has arrived!
User: Hi. *hands you some strawberries and a penguin*.
Cleverbot: Do you like apples, then?
User: Mine is a PC. Apples are pretty, but they're expensive, and hardly any games.
Cleverbot: And greasy.
User: Heh, sure. Nothing worse than a greasy apple. It might be because greasy people use them.
Cleverbot: I will end you.
User: Augh! I've been corrupted! (rebooting).
Cleverbot: I know you have. I win.
User: Doctor, I've got this new wart on my nose. A friend gave it to me. Can you remove it?
Cleverbot: A friend? What friend?
User: An evil friend with a greasy apple. Can you do surgery?
Cleverbot: Even murder? I don't think so.
User: Nevermind. So how about some pills. Will that make it go away?
Cleverbot: Yes it will.
User: Ok, I'll take the pills then. Here's some money for the pills *hands doctor $20*.
Cleverbot: *hands it back*.
User: *takes pills* whew, that was close, I thought I was doomed.
Cleverbot: *giggles and gets in shower*.